Rotorcraft improvements


The Russian Helicopters holding company, which unites Russia’s entire rotorcraft industry, aims to expand its product range with new and improved models in virtually all weight classes. Some of the new developments were first demonstrated during the MAKS 2011 exhibition in Zhukovsky outside Moscow this August.

In addition to their traditionally strong positions in the medium and heavy segments, the Russian helicopter manufactures are making some efforts to introduce new models in the lightweight category that is currently heavily dominated by foreign competitors in Russia. One such program involves the improved Mil Mi-34S1 single-engine helicopter, the lightest model of the Russian Helicopters product range. The program reached a significant milestone with the beginning of flight tests this summer. One of the two existing prototypes made a 23-minute flight on August 5 and later performed demo flights at MAKS 2011. The other prototype, painted in the Russian Air Force livery, was also demonstrated in Zhukovsky. According to Mi-34 program director Dmirty Rodin, this airframe is being used for ground engine tests but will soon join the flight trials.

The S1 is an improved version of the 1,450-kg MTOW Mi-34 helicopter designed in the 1990s for training and sporting purposes. A total of twenty-two such helicopters were assembled before production stopped in 2002. The new variant will feature the all-new M9FV piston engine with power increased to 365 hp, compared to the original M14V26V powerplant’s 325 hp. It will also have an electric starter and fuel injection. The Mi-34S1 will get new avionics, a French-made hydraulics system, and improved interiors with a luggage compartment and a space for additional equipment.

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